Get to Know Japan Series: Kanagawa

Series Overview

Virtual Exhibition

Tourism Resources

Virtual Pop-Up Shop

Live Webinar

Crafting the Perfect Sake in Kanagawa
Tuesday, December 8, 6:30 PM EST

Tourism Resources

Kanagawa Prefecture has a rich history and many fascinating sites to explore. Delve deeper into Kanagawa culture with these additional resources. Learn the stories behind famous Buddhist temples, discover the healthy and fortifying diets of Buddhist monks, understand the distinctive qualities of the region’s delicious sake, and much more.

*NEW*  The Fuma Ninja of Odawara

The city of Odawara was once the home of the illustrious Fuma Ninja clan. Situated on the Pacific coast, just south of Tokyo in Kanagawa Prefecture, Odawara was a key location during Japan’s feudal era and remains a major transportation hub. Today, Odawara can be accessed from Tokyo or Yokohama by a 30-90 minute ride on the Tokaido Shinkansen, JR Tokaido Lineor Odakyu Odawara Line. The Tokaido Shinkansen also provides access from Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka.

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*NEW*  Yokohama

The second largest city in Japan after Tokyo, Yokohama is the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture and played a pivotal role in Japan’s history. It was one of the first ports to be opened to trade with Western nations after the negotiation of the Harris Treaty with the U.S. in 1858. As such, Yokohama has a uniquely international flair, which can be seen reflected in its architecture, food, and elsewhere.

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A Mountain Retreat in Hakone Essay

I live in Kamakura, a seaside town one hour from Tokyo by train. From the hills around my house, I can look north to the distant skyscrapers, south to the Pacific, and to the west, the mountains surrounding iconic Mt. Fuji. The largest of these mountains is Mt. Hakone, the “steepest in the land,” according to the beginning of the classic song, Hakone Hachiri (1901, composed by Rentaro Taki). It was here that the Zen monk Musō Soseki (1275-1351) founded a mountain retreat to get away from the hustle and bustle of the capital in Kamakura. For my first trip after quarantine, I thought to follow in Muso Soseki’s footsteps and find my own retreat in the mountains. My trip began on the Enoden (Enoshima Electric Railway) rail line that runs through the streets of Kamakura before heading out on the coast, making for the distant mountains.

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Eating Zen in Kamakura Essay

In Japan, before each meal we say Itadakimasu. Meaning “I receive,” it is an expression of gratitude for the lives we take when we eat. This spirit of gratitude is one of the cornerstones of shojin ryori or “ascetic cooking,” a vegetarian cuisine that is an integral part of the practice of Zen Buddhism. Food is prepared with gratitude toward the life given, and gratitude toward those who will receive the food, and it is eaten with gratitude toward the chef. In Kamakura, shojin ryori has developed alongside Zen Buddhism since its introduction from China over 1,000 years ago.

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Additional Tourism Resources

Please use these resources and links to plan your next visit to Kanagawa, Japan.
Get to Know Japan Series: Kanagawa is co-organized by Kanagawa Prefectural Government.

Image: ©︎ Odakyu Group

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